Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is one of the oldest in the country. It was opened in 1926 by the Zoological Society of London. The idea was to have a more open conservation Zoo following a visit by the society to the Bronx Zoological Garden in the State of New York. A derelict Farm in the Dunstable Downs area of the Chilterns was chosen due to its proximity to London. It was purchased for £480.
At first the site was fenced and the landscaping process began. After two years park was ready to receive its first animal inhabitants. These are some rare pheasants. They were quickly followed by a muntjac, a llama, wombats and skunks.
The park did not open until 1931. It was unlike other zoos in that it was accessible and could be walked around with the animals in enclosures as opposed to cages. It soon proved to be incredibly popular. It has been updated many times, the only remaining feature being the brown bear enclosure.
One of the strangest additions to the collection was in 1932 when a travelling menagerie closed for business. In what was quite a spectacle for the time, some of the animals walked to their new, more comfortable, homes from the local railway station.
One other interesting feature is the large chalk lion that was added to the nearby Ivinghoe beacon as you come into the Park. It certainly helps you find your bearings. Much like Park Homes for Sale in Bedfordshire. It is very lovely place.